Obesity rates around the world have more than doubled for only 20 years, according to the latest report by the World health Organization. The study found that as of 2014, more than half a billion adults are obese and the number of overweight men and women has jumped to two billion worldwide.
Obesity is the fastest spreading and most overlooked health condition in the world and in some regions, it is still considered a sign of wealth and prosperity. However, according to the World Health Organization, approximately 3.4 million adults die each year from its effects and complications. Last week, the UN’s agency released its Global Status Report, which reveals an alarming picture – in 2014, more than 600 million men and women were classified as obese. This is more than double the rate only 20 years ago. And nearly 2 billion of the world’s population was overweight. The figures also show that 42 million children younger than 5 were also obese or overweight in 2013. Here are several key findings of the report:
- In 2014, 39% of adults (38% of men and 40% of women) were overweight
- In 2014, 11% of men and 15% of women were obese
- In the European and Eastern Mediterranean regions and the region of the Americas, more than 50% of the women are overweight. Approximately half of these women are also obese.
- Childhood obesity has increased from 5% in 200 to 6.3% in 2013. The prevalence has jumped the most in Africa and Asia.
- The global prevalence of diabetes was 9% in 2014, with the highest rates reported in the Eastern Mediterranean region, where 14% of men and women were diabetic.
WHO researchers also point out that lack of physical activity is one of the major factors in the obesity epidemic. 81% of adolescents, aged 11-17 years weren’t sufficiently physically active in 2010. The regions with the highest levels of insufficient physical activity are the Eastern Mediterranean (88%), the African region (85%) and the Western Pacific region (85%).
Previous study showed similar results, so the high levels of obesity around the world shouldn’t be a huge surprise. According to an international obesity statistics by the CIA, the fattest nations in the world are American Samoa, Nauru, and the Cook Islands, all in the Pacific region.
Top 10 Most Obese Countries in the World:
- American Samoa – 74.6% of the people are obese
- Nauru – 71.1%
- Cook Islands – 63.4%
- Tokelau – 63.4%
- Tonga – 57.6%
- Samoa – 54.1%
- Palau – 48.9%
- Kiribati – 46%
- Marshall Islands – 45.4%
- Kuwait – 42%
The data is from 2007 and 2008 and lists GCC countries as some of the most obese on the planet. Besides Kuwait, the study ranks Qatar as 16th most obese with 33.2%, followed by Saudi Arabia (19th) with 33%, Bahrain (20th, 32.9%), and the United Arab Emirates (22nd, 32.7%). And the thinnest nations are Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Eritrea, and Madagascar.